UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff - Appellee, v. Ming ZHANG, Defendant - Appellant.
Decided: May 26, 2020
Before AGEE and QUATTLEBAUM, Circuit Judges, and TRAXLER, Senior Circuit Judge.
Marc G. Hall, LAW OFFICES OF MARC G. HALL, P.C., Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellant. Molissa Heather Farber, Baltimore, Maryland, Erin Baxter Pulice, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY, Greenbelt, Maryland, for Appellee.
Ming Zhang pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement, to an information charging him with conspiracy to transport stolen funds, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371 (2018). The district court sentenced him to 18 months’ imprisonment, below his advisory Sentencing Guidelines range. On appeal, counsel has filed a brief pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), stating that there are no meritorious grounds for appeal but questioning the reasonableness of Zhang’s sentence, including the restitution amount. Zhang was informed of his right to file a pro se supplemental brief, but he has not done so. The Government moves to dismiss the appeal pursuant to the appellate waiver in Zhang’s plea agreement. We affirm in part and dismiss in part.
We review the validity of an appellate waiver de novo and “will enforce the waiver if it is valid and the issue appealed is within the scope of the waiver.” United States v. Adams, 814 F.3d 178, 182 (4th Cir. 2016). A waiver is valid if it is “knowing and voluntary.” Id. To determine whether a waiver is knowing and voluntary, “we consider the totality of the circumstances, including the experience and conduct of the defendant, his educational background, and his knowledge of the plea agreement and its terms.” United States v. McCoy, 895 F.3d 358, 362 (4th Cir.) (internal quotations marks omitted), cert. denied, ––– U.S. ––––, 139 S. Ct. 494, 202 L.Ed.2d 386 (2018). Generally, “if a district court questions a defendant regarding the waiver of appellate rights during the [Fed. R. Crim. P. 11] colloquy and the record indicates that the defendant understood the full significance of the waiver, the waiver is valid.” Id. (internal quotation marks omitted).
Our review of the record confirms that Zhang knowingly and voluntarily waived his right to appeal his conviction and sentence, with limited exceptions not applicable here. We therefore conclude that the waiver is valid and enforceable and that the issue counsel raises falls squarely within the scope of the waiver.
In accordance with Anders, we have reviewed the entire record in this case and have found no potentially meritorious issues outside the scope of Zhang’s valid appellate waiver. We therefore grant the Government’s motion to dismiss in part and dismiss the appeal as to all issues within the scope of the waiver. We otherwise affirm. This court requires that counsel inform Zhang, in writing, of the right to petition the Supreme Court of the United States for further review. If Zhang requests that a petition be filed, but counsel believes that such a petition would be frivolous, then counsel may move in this court for leave to withdraw from representation. Counsel’s motion must state that a copy thereof was served on Zhang.
We dispense with oral argument because the facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and argument would not aid the decisional process.
AFFIRMED IN PART, DISMISSED IN PART
Affirmed in part and dismissed in part by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
Was this helpful?
Response sent, thank you
Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes
A free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.